Hong Kong: Sinopec Corp, the world’s second-largest oil refiner after Exxon Mobil, posted record quarterly profits that widely exceeded expectations, buoyed by recent fuel price hikes and falling crude oil prices.
“Since 2009, (the) domestic oil product pricing mechanism reform has turned refining business from loss to profit,” the company said in a statement.
“It is anticipated that the result of (the) first three quarters of 2009 will be over 50% higher compared with the same period of last year,” it said.
Two fuel price hikes in June, which were part of China’s fuel pricing reforms, boosted second-quarter profits.
The results for Sinopec contrast sharply with western oil firms, including Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which have reported weaker second-quarter profits due to depressed refining margins and falling oil prices.
Sinopec’s net profit totalled 22.0 billion yuan ($3.22 billion) for April-June, based on a Reuters’ calculation.
Five analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected profit of 16.1 billion yuan. The numbers compare to a net profit of 1.62 billion yuan in April-June last year.
The refiner - which engineered China’s largest overseas buyout deal with its $7.24 billion bid for Swiss oil explorer Addax Petroleum Corp. in June - earned 33.25 billion yuan for the first half compared with 7.68 billion yuan the same period last year.
Sinopec said in a separate statement that it would acquire six research institutes from a subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corporation for 3.95 billion yuan to enhance its technical capabilities.
Sinopec aims to process 97.1 million tonnes of crude in the second half of this year. The company, China’s second-largest oil producer after PetroChina, plans to produce 21.4 million tonnes of crude oil and 4.96 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the second half.
CNOOC and PetroChina report earnings on Wednesday and Friday respectively.